State busts unlicensed door-to-door paver
(KUTV) — Beware of door to door salesmen offering you a deal on a new driveway. That's the warning tonight from Utah state regulators who say they just busted an out-of-state paver.
At Dunford Bakers in West Jordan, they have some brand new patches of asphalt that are crumbling after about a month. Bakery owner John Stevens says the salesman made a high-pressure pitch.
"They say, hey, we have extra materials. We just did a job down the road from you and we can save you a dollar a square foot on this but we’ve got to act now because the material's not going to last," Stevens said.
Stevens agreed but, when work was completed, he says the salesman demanded something odd. He insisted the check be made out to him, personally rather than to the company name.
"Right there, gives me a red flag,” he said. “Why are you not paying it to asphalt roads and parking lots?"
John says he googled the salesman, who identified himself as George Stanley, and quickly discovered news articles from other states showing his mug shot and stating he’s been accused of fraud.
The asphalt guys approached other businesses in Dunford’s neighborhood. One example is across the street at Green's Welding. Owner Guy Green tells Get Gephardt he got the same high pressure pitch but he turned the pavers away when they refused to give him price for how much the work would ultimately cost.
Stevens also called state regulators with the Utah division of occupational and professional licensing and investigators quickly responded to the bakery.
Division Director Mark Steinagel says that Stevens and Green were smart to be suspicions
“When somebody's doing a number of things like that, we become very concerned that they are trying to defraud consumers," he said.
DOPL cited a contractor on the scene named Avery Miller with being an unlicensed contractor. Investigators also called the West Jordan Police Department and had Miller arrested so he could face misdemeanor charges for the crime.
Steinagel says Stanley was not at the scene.
By phone, Miller stated he is not running a scam, then referred Get Gephardt to his attorney and ended the call.
Miller's attorney, Michael Langford, stated his client told him the situation was a “misunderstanding,” and that he will be “disputing any and all allegations," but declined to elaborate.
Steinagel says DOPL receives a lot of complaints about door-to-door asphalt salesmen claiming they “see this every year.”
His advice to consumers is to not fall for the high pressure tactics. Rather, take a beat, get some references, get a contract, and verify the company has a license.
"The good guys aren't going to be afraid with you doing the checking," he said.